Leading With Positive Influence At Work While You Have Family Struggles
When you have a leadership role at work, it’s your job to make sure your workers are happy and working efficiently. You need to keep things running smoothly in every possible circumstance. If there is a problem between two of your team members, you need to mediate the problem. If your employees are having personal issues that impact your work, then you should do what you can to help them through it while still maintaining appropriate boundaries.
But what if you’re the one who’s having problems at home?
According to one study, 47 percent of employees admit that their personal lives affect their work, with 16 saying it actually prevented them from even going in. Almost half said that when they were experiencing personal issues, it made it difficult for them to concentrate on their work. When leaders are distracted, those problems can trickle down to their subordinates and have an even stronger effect on work.
If you are a leader and are going through personal issues, we have gathered a few suggestions for you to help you make it through the hard times while minimizing the negative effect on your work performance.
Take some time each day to focus and clear your head
You may be tempted to try to just get lost in your work, and in some instances, that can be helpful. Just don’t push yourself so hard that you eventually run out of steam or have a breakdown. Take a few moments each day to simply clear your head. Whether that means stepping away from your desk and finding a private place to meditate or simply listening to some soothing music, try to find a time and place where you can stop thinking about both your home situation and the work on your plate.
Give yourself a chance to sort through your thoughts. When you give each thought its due consideration in a controlled environment, then you can hopefully prevent it from bubbling up at an inopportune time and spilling over onto your team.
Use your own boss as a resource
It’s often difficult for people in leadership positions to admit that they might need help. They believe that it makes them weak, and when people are going through trials, they often feel the need to reassure themselves that they are independent. Think of it another way, though. If one of your subordinates was having troubles, you would want him or her to come to you, wouldn’t you?
While you should maintain appropriate boundaries, it’s better to keep your boss at least somewhat in the loop ahead of time rather than try to explain things after problems start to arise.
Develop a support system outside of work
When you are going through home problems, no matter how serious they are, it’s important to build up a support system for yourself. This includes friends, family, and even making sure you have the proper professionals on your side. Find someone you can confide in, so that you’re not facing these troubles alone. Whether that is a friend or a therapist, just having someone you can talk to can help.
If things have already escalated beyond that, it can ease your mind to know that you have an attorney who is familiar with your case and the laws in your area. Each state has it’s own regulations, so when you search for child custody lawyers Utah will have different laws than Minnesota or New York. Even if you have friends who are attorneys, if they are not licensed in the same area, they may not be able to offer accurate advice.
Take care of your family first
If you start to see an unavoidable conflict between taking care of the custody fight and taking care of your work, then you have a decision to make. While it hopefully won’t come to this, try to remember the reasons you’re working so hard in the first place. If it’s really important to you to have custody of your children, remember that if you are too focused on your work, it can actually end up working against you during the hearing. If you’re always at work, after all, then who will take care of your children? To be a good parent, you need to be available.
Again, hopefully it won’t come to that. It’s certainly possibly to balance a successful career with a healthy family. One of the most important parts of doing so is keeping the lines of communication open. Don’t let frustration fester, and don’t let your job come between you and your family. We understand that work is important, but your family should be your priority.
Carol Evenson is a business consultant specializing in process automation and employee wellness. She has worked with Fortune 1000 companies and currently assists organizations within the US and UK. Follow her on Twitter.
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